Read the Missionary Report from the
Emerging Countries of the Americas below
Sabbath, October 28, 2017
“The heavenly gates are again to be lifted up, and with ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy ones, our Saviour will come forth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jehovah Immanuel ‘shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.’ ‘The tabernacle of God’ shall be with men, ‘and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.’ Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 21:3.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 108.
The Promised One will be King
1. What message is contained in one of the oldest prophecies concerning the position of the Messiah who was to come? For how long would this descendant of David reign?
Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
2 Samuel 7:12, 16 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom…. 16And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
“The Messiah was to be of the royal line, for in the prophecy uttered by Jacob the Lord said, ‘The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.’ Genesis 49:10.
“Isaiah prophesied: ‘There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.’ ‘Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.’ Isaiah 11:1; 55:3-5.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 223.
2. How did a later prophet confirm His preexistence and royal dignity? What did another prophecy say about the humble, lowly King who would bring salvation?
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate–a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings…. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father–one in nature, in character, in purpose–the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6. His ‘goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.’ Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: ‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting…. When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.’ Proverbs 8:22-30.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.
Star of the King of the Jews
3. What did the wise men say about the Baby they were searching for? What joyful event called attention to the prophecy concerning the coming of the humble King?
Matthew 2:1, 2; 21:4, 5 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him…. 21:4All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
“Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Zechariah thus foretold the coming of the King to Israel. This prophecy is now to be fulfilled. He who has so long refused royal honors now comes to Jerusalem as the promised heir to David’s throne.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 569.
“These wise men had seen the heavens illuminated with light, which enshrouded the heavenly host who heralded the advent of Christ to the humble shepherds….
“This light was a distant cluster of flaming angels, which appeared like a luminous star. The unusual appearance of the large bright star, which they had never seen before, hanging as a sign in the heavens, attracted their attention…. The wise men directed their course where the star seemed to lead them.” –Maranatha, p. 11.
His kingdom is not of this world
4. What did the procurator Pilate ask Jesus during His trial? Was Jesus’ answer negative or positive? What inscription did the governor order to be put over the cross?
John 18:33, 36, 37; 19:19 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?… 36Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice…. 19:19And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, Jesus of Nazareth the king of the Jews.
“Look at the superscription written above the cross. The Lord arranged it. Written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, it is a call for all, Jew and Gentile, barbarian and Scythian, bond and free, hopeless, helpless, and perishing, to come. Christ has made of none effect the power of Satan. He laid hold of the pillars of Satan’s kingdom, and passed through the conflict, destroying him that had the power of death. A way was now opened whereby mercy and truth could meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other.” –(Manuscript 111, 1897), Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1107.
“Truth was truth to Him, and it never suffered in His hands; for He was the author of truth. ‘To this end,’ He says, ‘was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.’ … He was the embodiment of truth and holiness. He who had stood in the councils of God, who had dwelt in the innermost sanctuary of the Eternal, was speaking that whereof He knew.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 26.
King of kings and Lord of lords
5. As what does the book of Revelation recognize Jesus on the very first page? Accordingly, in His own time, what glorious role will the Son of God take up?
Revelation 1:5; 17:14; 19:11, 12, 16 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood…. 17:14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful…. 19:11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself…. 16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
“Not now a ‘Man of Sorrows, to drink the bitter cup of shame and woe, He comes, victor in heaven and earth, to judge the living and the dead. ‘Faithful and True,’ ‘in righteousness He doth judge and make war.’… The firmament seems filled with radiant forms–‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.’ No human pen can portray the scene; no mortal mind is adequate to conceive its splendor. ‘His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light.’ Habakkuk 3:3, 4. As the living cloud comes still nearer, every eye beholds the Prince of life. No crown of thorns now mars that sacred head; but a diadem of glory rests on His holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun. ‘And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.’ Revelation 19:16.” –The Great Controversy, p. 640.
6. Who will one day exalt the merits of Jesus Christ as Lord? How many will bow down and acknowledge that Jesus is not only the Son of Man, but also the Lord, to the glory of God?
Revelation 5:11-13 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Philippians 2:10, 11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
“Christ is now acknowledged as the King of Glory. ‘Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ Matthew 21:9. The question of His divinity is forever settled. Where are those who held the Saviour bound at Pilate’s bar, who smote Him in the face, who scourged Him, who drove the nails through His hands and feet? those who mocked Him, saying, ‘He saved others; Himself He cannot save…’? Matthew 27:42. Where is the puny arm that will be lifted against Him now? The scene is changed. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Christ, Lord of heaven and earth….” –In Heavenly Places, p. 358.
Dominion and glory over all
7. To whom will all dominion, greatness, glory, and the kingdom belong? For how long will the kingdom of peace and righteousness exist?
Daniel 7:13, 14, 27 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed…. 27And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
“The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion and glory and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not His second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2,300 days in 1844.” –The Great Controversy, p. 479.
“The kingdom of God’s grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. ‘The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,’ is to be given to ‘the people of the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:27. They shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them ‘from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 108.
For additional study
“Again I looked and saw the earth purified. There was not a single sign of the curse. The broken, uneven surface of the earth now looked like a level, extensive plain. God’s entire universe was clean, and the great controversy was forever ended. Wherever we looked, everything upon which the eye rested was beautiful and holy. And all the redeemed host, old and young, great and small, cast their glittering crowns at the feet of their Redeemer, and prostrated themselves in adoration before Him, and worshiped Him that liveth forever and ever. The beautiful new earth, with all its glory, was the eternal inheritance of the saints. The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was then given to the saints of the Most High, who were to possess it forever, even forever and ever.” –Early Writings, p. 295.
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from the Emerging Countries of the Americas
To be read on Sabbath, October 28, 2017
The Special Sabbath School Offering
will be gathered on Sabbath, November 4, 2017
“Keep silence before Me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.” Isaiah 41:1.
The emerging countries and “mission fields” in the Americas at present include Aruba, Belize, Cuba, French Guiana, Guyana, Haiti, and Suriname. Each has its own unique characteristics and opportunities, and that is what makes this Special Sabbath School Offering different. The funds gathered will be used to help these countries be better organized; and their members, better established in the present truth. In addition, as God opens the way, a portion of the funds gathered may also be used as seed money to enter other countries in the region–Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Greenland, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago.
The General Conference is humbled by the task our Master has given us to carry the gospel to the whole world. Observing world developments, we can only ask, “How long, Lord Jesus?” We do not know how much time is left before the opportunities and freedoms we still enjoy will disappear as prophecy is fulfilled. What will we do then with our influence, money, time, and talents? In the day of Christ’s coming, either those things will witness against us, or our treasure chest of jewels will be full in the coming kingdom.
As you consider your own special blessings, please also consider the souls in darkness who are hungering and thirsting for that righteousness that comes with the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Buy the truth for another, and pray that they will sell it not.
Here is a brief summary of the work being done in the emerging countries in the Americas.
ARUBA is a small Caribbean island 29 kilometers (18 miles) north of Venezuela. It measures just 32 kilometers (20 miles) long and 10 kilometers (6 miles) across at its widest point. It is a popular tourist destination for visitors who love its warm, sunny weather and dry climate.
For many years, the work in Aruba was done by volunteers, with an occasional visit from pastors, usually from Venezuela. Now a full-time pastor is searching for interested individuals among the approximately 100,000 inhabitants.
BELIZE, a country on the eastern coast of Central America, is bordered by Mexico on the north, Guatemala on the south and west, and the Caribbean Sea on the east. Its mainland is about 290 kilometers (180 miles) long and 110 kilometers (68 miles) wide. It has a culturally diverse population of 368,310 with a growth rate of 1.87% per year. While English is the official language, the many other languages that are spoken tell of this country’s rich history and diversity.
While Belize is part of the British Commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state, the country also has strong ties to the Caribbean region. The Sabbath Watchman reported on the first chapel that was erected there and that the work in Belize has gained new interested souls.
CUBA is the island nation located in the Caribbean west of Haiti and north of Jamaica. Culturally and linguistically, Cuba is part of Latin America; but because of the government’s Communist ideology, freedom of religion is very limited. The population numbers about 11 million, with 65% claiming to be Christian (60% Roman Catholic and 5% Evangelical Protestant); 23%, unaffiliated; 17%, no religion; and 0.4%, affiliated with other religions.
The 100-plus members in Cuba are moving forward with God’s blessing, and new souls are being added to the church. The work has been supported financially by individuals in the U.S. and Mexico and by the General Conference; but more help is needed to support the increasing interest.
FRENCH GUIANA is located on the north Atlantic coast of South America. Bordering Brazil on the east and south and Suriname on the west, it covers 83,534 square kilometers (32,253 square miles), with half of its approximately 250,000 inhabitants living in or near Cayenne, the capital. While the official language is French, each ethnic community has its own language, with French Guianese Creole being the most widely spoken. The dominant religion is Roman Catholicism.
The first missionary entered this country just recently, so the need for spiritual and financial support is critical, as is the case at the start of any new work.
GUYANA is also located on the northern mainland of South America, on the western side of Suriname. It is the fourth-smallest country on mainland South America after Uruguay, Suriname, and French Guiana. It is the only South American country with English as its official language. However, the majority of the racially and ethnically heterogeneous population speaks Guyanese Creole. Approximately 64% are Christian; 25%, Hindu; and 7%, Muslim, while 3% do not profess any faith. Most Guyanese Christians are Protestant or Roman Catholic, coming from East India, Africa, China, and Europe, while a significant portion of the population is of indigenous ancestry.
New interest in Guyana calls for the appropriation of time and means.
HAITI shares the Western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. In the 18th Century, Haiti’s sugar cane plantations were among the most lucrative in the world. That changed on January 1, 1804, when it became the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean and the second republic in the Americas. It is the only country in the western hemisphere to have defeated three European superpowers (Britain, France, and Spain), and the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt.
Today Haitians struggle with a per capita GDP of just $1,200 per year. Despite having a viable tourist industry, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and the poorest in the Americas. The landmass of the country is 27,750 square kilometers (10,714 square miles), with an estimated population of about 10.6 million people–the second-most populous country in the Caribbean after Cuba. Approximately 80% of the people profess to be Roman Catholic; and 16%, Protestant (10% Baptist, 4% Pentecostal, 1% Adventist, 1% other). Other religions (Islam, Baha’i, Judaism, and Buddhism) are professed by 3%, and 1% claim no faith.
Despite hurricanes, earthquakes, widespread spiritualism, and government corruption, Haiti has been blessed by the Lord to have honest souls being called to the foot of the cross. May God bless all who have already sacrificed and are sacrificing so the work recently begun anew can continue.
SURINAME is bordered by French Guiana on the east, Guyana on the west, Brazil on the south, and the Caribbean Sea on the north. With a landmass of just under 165,000 square kilometers (64,000 square miles), it is the smallest country on the South American continent. Most of the approximately 565,000 inhabitants live near the country’s north coast. About a third of them live in or near the capital, Paramaribo. While Suriname became independent of the Netherlands in 1975, there are close economic, diplomatic, and cultural ties between the two countries. The first 14 years of its independence were quite unstable politically.
Half of the Surinamese profess Christianity (about 22% Roman Catholic, 11% Pentecostal, 12% Moravian, and 4% other Protestant denominations). Approximately 22% are Hindu, 14% are Islamic, 5% are other religions, and 10% are unaffiliated.
“There is work to be done for the Master. How many souls might be saved, if each professed follower of Christ would do all that lay in his power to do! My brother, my sister, there are all around us the poor, who may receive from you the words of Christ, after you have fed and clothed them. There are the sick, whom it is your duty to visit. There are sorrowing ones to be comforted and prayed for. If the Lord has blessed you with this world’s goods, it is not that you may greedily hoard it, or expend it in the indulgence of pride. Remember that He will one day say, ‘Give an account of thy stewardship.’ Let us invest our means in the bank of heaven by using it to supply the wants of the needy or to advance the cause of God. Then the Master at His coming, having found us faithful over a few things, will make us each ruler over ‘many things’ in the kingdom of glory.” –Review and Herald, December 6, 1881.
“… For verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” Matthew 10:23.
–Brethren of the General Conference
LIST OF CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES
|Antigua & Barbuda||89,000||202|
|St. Kitts & Nevis||54,000||206|
|Trinidad & Tobago||1,340,000||261|